From: Mike Lorrey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> "Smigrodzki, Rafal" wrote:
> Hal Finney wrote:
> exist under the law. Corporations, partnerships, marriages and other
> groupings should be allowed to be treated as individuals when they
> to the maximum degree practical.
> ### Yes!
As a radical individualist, I say no. Groupism is only justified as an
emergency response to outside threats (i.e. the current war on
terrorism). Outside of that, groups of any kind can and should be
treated with suspicion as threats to individual liberty.
### As an individual I recognize, at the basic level, nothing higher in
value that my individual life and liberty. However, no matter whether I want
it or not, suprahuman levels of organization, like corporate entities, do
emerge spontaneously due to their ability to extend the survival of their
constituent parts and their own.
I find it hard to deny that an industrial company is more than just a few
thousand individuals working together. A secretary doesn't create a business
plan, neither do executives - it is the carefully choreographed interaction
of all the employees that adds value to their individual efforts and allows
them to transcend the limitations of their minds and bodies. The way people
are selected to advance in the corporate ladder, and are being molded to fit
the corporate identity, and ideals, is not dependent solely on the wishes of
individuals - it is the invisible hand of the corporation, choosing the cogs
to fit its survival goals within the larger context of the society.
No matter how attached we are to our individualistic ideals, we cannot
escape the forces shaping our society, just as participants in a free market
economy cannnot escape the impersonal forces ruling it.
I agree that careful scrutiny of suprahuman entities is necessary, as long
as it remains possible. But, since we cannot abolish the corporate and state
levels of organization, we might best benefit by taming the beast rather
than trying to turn the tide. Groupism is the unavoidable effect of human
cooperation at any level higher than simple exchange of favors. In a
carefully crafted legal system, allowing corporate activity while limiting
their power to a level which can still be controlled, and maintaining
maximal transparency of their internal workings, we as individuals can
achieve much more freedom than our free-range forebears.
Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD
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